Coronavirus: Fort Worth police will not make arrests for low-level crimes

FORT WORTH, Texas — If you commit a low-level crime, you may not have to do the time -- at least in one Texas city.

The Fort Worth Police Department will stop arresting people for low-level crimes if a ticket can be issued in its place, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. The move comes as police departments are coming to grips with the coronavirus outbreak, and officials want to shield officers from becoming infected or spreading the COVID-19, the newspaper reported.

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According to the Star-Telegram, police officers in Fort Worth will not be allowed to make a Class C misdemeanor arrest without approval from a watch commander. Class C misdemeanors include crimes such as thefts less than $100 and vandalism.

Citizens will be encouraged to make reports online or by telephone if possible, the Star-Telegram reported.

Other policies the department has implemented include halting public fingerprinting until further notice and refusing to accept walk-up requests for accident and offense reports at the records division.

The move in Fort Worth mirrors similar policies enacted in Denver, San Francisco, Brooklyn, New York, and Oak Forest, Illinois, the Star-Telegram reported.

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